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Northampton, Massachusetts

From Academic Kids

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Northampton_massachusetts_main_street_20040912.jpg
Northampton, Massachusetts Main Street

Northampton is a city located in Hampshire County, Massachusetts. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 28,978. It is the county seat of Hampshire CountyTemplate:GR.

Contents

Politics

As of 2005, Clare Higgins is the Mayor.

Geography

Northampton sits on the banks of the Connecticut River, in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. It is located at 42°19'39" North, 72°39'28" West (42.327389, -72.657677)Template:GR.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 92.2 km² (35.6 mi²). 89.3 km² (34.5 mi²) of it is land and 3.0 km² (1.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 3.20% water.

Inclusive within the city limits are the villages of Florence and Leeds.

History

The area now known as Northampton was inhabited by Native Americans for thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans. They called it Norwottuck, or Nonotuck, meaning: "the midst of the river." Colonial Northampton was founded in 1654 by settlers from Springfield, Massachusetts. Initial cooperation between the two populations gave way to conflict, evidence of which can today be seen most clearly in nearby Historic Deerfield. Northampton hosted its own witch trials in the 18th century, although no witches were burned at the stake. Members of the community were among the signatories of the Declaration of Independence. (See the external link to Historic Northampton below for more.)

Northampton, which was incorporated as a city in 1883, developed into a thriving community and a local center for commerce, education, and the arts, even supporting a still-extant opera house, (though it now functions as an independent movie theatre) the Academy of Music. In 1851, opera singer Jenny Lind, the "Swedish Nightingale", declared it to be the "Paradise of America". Among the city's famous residents are: author William Cullen Bryant, the fire and brimstone preacher Jonathan Edwards; the ascetic health guru Sylvester Graham, namesake of the Graham Cracker; and Calvin Coolidge, who served as mayor of Northampton before becoming governor of Massachusetts and U.S. president. The first game of women's basketball was played there in 1892, at Smith College. Immigrant groups that settled here in large numbers included Irish, Polish, and French-Canadian; in more recent years, Puerto Ricans, Indians, Vietnamese and Cambodians have continued to enrich the cultural mosaic.

Northampton today is a popular destination for tourists, who come to sample the city's shopping and restaurants. It remains a showplace for the arts, and was rated as the top "Small Arts Town" in the country by travel writer John Villani, author of "The 100 Best Small Art Towns in America" (3rd edition, published by John Muir Publications). It is an open and tolerant community, and is home to a sizeable lesbian community, earning it the nickname, "Lesbianville, USA". Author Tracy Kidder documented the many layers of "Noho" society at the end of the 20th century in Home Town.

Attractions

  • Smith College is a women's college (one of the Seven Sisters) founded in 1871. It is also one of the Five Colleges.
  • The Clarke School for the Deaf specializes in oral education (speech and lip-reading, as opposed to signing), and holds an annual summer camp, the theme varying from summer to summer.
  • Look Park (http://www.lookpark.org/) is a 150-plus acre recreational park founded in 1930.
  • The Botanic Garden of Smith College is an excellent outdoor collection of trees, shrubs, and plants, as well as a fine collection of plant conservatories for the tropics, semi-tropics, and desert regions. It also has recently renovated its in-door greenhouse.
  • The Three County Fair claims to be the "longest consecutive running agricultural fair in the country", having been established and incorporated in 1818.
  • Many various concerts. From classical to rock, folk, and other genres.
  • The Northampton Independent Film Festival (NIFF) is held each fall. As such, it is the largest in New England.
  • The Academy of Music, built in 1890 by Edward H.R. Lyman, is the only municipally owned theatre in the nation, and was the first to be so owned; it is also one of the six oldest theatres, nationally. Boris Karloff and Harry Houdini (who installed a trap door in the stage) performed here. The Academy is still in operation today.
  • The Forbes Library (http://www.forbeslibrary.org|) Is the Main library for Northampton. The Forbes Library was built in 1894.

Demographics

As of the censusTemplate:GR of 2000, there are 28,978 people, 11,880 households, and 5,880 families residing in the city. The population density is 324.7/km² (841.0/mi²). There are 12,405 housing units at an average density of 139.0/km² (360.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 90.01% White, 2.08% African American, 0.30% Native American, 3.13% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.41% from other races, and 2.03% from two or more races. 5.24% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 11,880 households out of which 22.9% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.7% are married couples living together, 10.1% have a female householder with no husband present, and 50.5% are non-families. 37.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.7% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.14 and the average family size is 2.87.

In the city the population is spread out with 17.0% under the age of 18, 15.4% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 75.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 71.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $41,808, and the median income for a family is $56,844. Males have a median income of $37,264 versus $30,728 for females. The per capita income for the city is $24,022. 9.8% of the population and 5.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.4% of those under the age of 18 and 9.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Public School system

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Aerial photo of "J.F.K middle school

There are 4 elementary schools (kindergarden through 5th grade) in Northampton.

Robert K. Finn Elementary 
Principal: Thomas Petray 
Address: 498 Ryan Road, Florence, Massachusetts 01062
Tel.: (413) 587-1550
Jackson Street School
Principal: Gwen Agna
Tel.: (413) 587-1510
Bridge Street School
Principal: Johanna McKenna 
Address: 2 Parsons Street, Northampton, MA 01060
Tel.: 413-587-1460 
Leeds Elementary School
Prinipal: Suzanne Scallion
Address: 20 Florence Street, Leeds, Massachusetts 01053
Tel.: 413-587-1531

There is one middle school (6th to 8th grade).

John F. Kennedy Middle School
Principal: Lesley Wilson (Interim)
Address: 100 Bridge Road
Tel.: 413-587-1489

There are two high schools (9th to 12th grade).

Northampton High School (http://www.hamphigh.org/)
Address: 100 Elm Street, Northampton, MA 01060
Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School (http://www.gazettenet.com/~smithschool/)
Address: 80 Locust Street, Northampton, MA 01060
Tel.: 413-587-1414

External links

Template:Geolinks-US-cityscale

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Flag of Massachusetts

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Capital:

Boston

Regions:

The Berkshires | Greater Boston | Cape Cod | North Shore | Pioneer Valley | South Shore | Western Massachusetts

Cities:

Attleboro | Boston | Brockton | Cambridge | Chicopee | Fall River | Fitchburg | Gardner | Holyoke | Lawrence | Lowell | New Bedford | Northampton | Pittsfield | Salem | Springfield | Taunton | Westfield | Worcester

Towns:

Abington | Acton | Acushnet | Adams | Alford | Amherst | Andover | Aquinnah | Arlington | Ashburnham | Ashby | Ashfield | Ashland | Athol | Auburn | Avon | Ayer | Barre | Becket | Bedford | Belchertown | Bellingham | Belmont | Berkley | Berlin | Bernardston | Billerica | Blackstone | Blandford | Bolton | Bourne | Boxboro | Boxford | Boylston | Braintree | Brewster | Bridgewater | Brimfield | Brookfield | Brookline | Buckland | Burlington | Canton | Carver | Chilmark | Cohasset | Cummington | Dartmouth | Dedham | Dighton | Dover | Duxbury | East Bridgewater | Easton | Edgartown | Fairhaven | Florida | Foxborough | Freetown | Halifax | Hanover | Hanson | Hingham | Holbrook | Hopedale | Hull | Kingston | Lakeville | Mansfield | Marion | Marshfield | Mattapoisett | Medfield | Medway | Mendon | Middleborough | Milford | Millis | Millville | Milton | Needham | Norfolk | North Attleborough | Norton | Norwell | Norwood | Oak Bluffs | Pembroke | Peru | Plainville | Plymouth | Plympton | Randolph | Raynham | Rehoboth | Rochester | Rockland | Scituate | Seekonk | Sharon | Somerset | Stoughton | Swansea | Tisbury | Walpole | Wareham | Wellesley | West Bridgewater | West Tisbury | Westport | Westwood | Weymouth | Whitman | Wrentham |

Counties:

Barnstable | Berkshire | Bristol | Dukes | Essex | Franklin | Hampden | Hampshire | Middlesex | Nantucket | Norfolk | Plymouth | Suffolk | Worcester

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